Crowds 'stone the devil' in final hajj ritual

Massive crowds of robed Muslims gathered for the "stoning of the devil" ritual in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday as the biggest hajj pilgrimage since the pandemic draws to a close.. The devil-stoning marks the start of the three-day Eid al-Adha holiday, celebrated by Muslims by buying and slaughtering livestock to commemorate Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son.

Fewer buyers for Eid camels as Pakistanis count the rupees

Teenager Amanullah Khan teeters on his tiptoes, daubing towering camels with festive henna patterns to entice Eid al-Adha customers at a market near the Pakistan capital.. Hundreds of farmers have camped at livestock markets between Islamabad and its twin city Rawalpindi for two weeks, hoping to sell animals ahead of the annual holy festival starting Thursday in Pakistan.

Got weeds? US environmentalists call in the G.O.A.T.s

The landscaping squad of Mocha, Wynonna, Nelson and Beckham yank out weeds at a Texas park.. They are removing plants such as ligustrum, a highly invasive shrub that can take water and nutrients away from the older oak trees the park seeks to protect, Carr tells AFP.  The 36-year-old and his wife Carolyn own the Texas franchise of Rent-a-Ruminant, which operates in several states.

Slow post-Covid recovery for Cuban tourism

Cuba, which relies heavily on the tourist dollars of visitors to its pristine Caribbean beaches and colorful towns, has experienced a frustrating scarcity of foreigners since the end of the coronavirus pandemic.. Tourists are not always spared the shortages blamed on the US blockade and a lack of foreign exchange.

At Toronto tech show, second thoughts emerge over AI

Months after the spectacular launch of ChatGPT, the AI revolution is well underway but hints of caution are emerging, especially over letting one or two companies reign supreme.. Microsoft's investment of billions of dollars into OpenAI launched an AI arms race, with Google following course by ramping up its release of AI-infused products, goading any company involved with technology to hurry out new capabilities.

US judge throws out high-profile chess cheating lawsuit

A US federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by chess player Hans Niemann, who was seeking $100 million from those who accused him of cheating. including former world champion Magnus Carlsen.. The 32-year-old Norwegian Carlsen, a five-time world champion, then withdrew from the tournament with a bang, accusing his opponent of cheating. 

Canada sees record CO2 emissions from fires so far this year

Wildfires raging across Canada, made more intense by global warming, have released more planet-warming carbon dioxide in the first six months of 2023 than in any full year on record, EU scientists said Tuesday.. Globally, forests play a crucial role in curbing global warming by absorbing and stocking excess CO2 -- emitted mainly from burning fossil fuels -- that is overheating the planet.

Supreme Court backs free speech rules in online stalking case

The US Supreme Court sided with free speech advocates Tuesday in ruling that a man's online harassment of a country singer could only be deemed illegally threatening if he knew it could be understood as such.. The case drew the interest of free speech advocates who worried that upholding Counterman's conviction would chill free speech protections by permitting the prosecution of anyone whose speech is perceived as threatening by another person, without proof of intent.

Iranians go from 'harassment' to hajj happiness after Saudi pact

If a landmark reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran has eased tensions in the Gulf, clouds have also lifted at the hajj pilgrimage, where Iranian visitors finally feel welcome again.. AnIranian tour operator who has joined the hajj on several occasions said he was feeling "comfort and safety" in Saudi Arabia for the first time.